NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery-focused educational program for adults working to establish and maintain wellness in response to mental health challenges. The course provides critical information and strategies related to living with mental illness.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery-focused educational program for adults working to establish and maintain wellness in response to mental health challenges. The course provides critical information and strategies related to living with mental illness. Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material, and closes with Mindfulness Practice. Each class builds on the one before: attendance to each week is strongly recommended.

Peer-to-Peer is taught by a trained team of individuals living in recovery from mental illness, and takes place over 10 class sessions of 2 hours each. This peer-led course provides a confidential place to learn from shared experiences in an environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance. No specific medication or medical therapy is endorsed or recommended. Participation in this course gives individuals the opportunity to gain tangible resources – personalized plans, strategies for potential events in the future and other information – as well as a deeper understanding of your personal recovery process.

Peer-to-Peer has allowed me to take the focus off my illness and learn to balance it with the rest of my life. By engaging in recovery I am able to be more relaxed and productive both at work and home.

Family-to-Family Course Overview

Week 1 Orientation

  • Welcome
  • Introductions
  • Course orientation
  • Questions and answers

Week 2

  • Icebreaker
  • Group ground rules
  • Discussion on course values
  • Mental illnesses as traumatic experiences
  • Consumer stages of recovery
  • Stigma
  • Culture
  • Mindfulness

Week 3

  • "It's not my fault" - mental illnesses as no-blame disorders
  • Brain biology and research
  • The challenges and benefits of medication
  • Relapse prevention
  • Creative visualization
  • Mindfulness

Week 4

  • Storytelling - sharing of personal experiences
  • Mindfulness

Week 5

  • Information and discussion about:
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Relapse prevention continued
  • Accounts of wisdom and strength
  • Mindfulness

Week 6

  • Information and discussions about:
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Relapse prevention continued
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • The role of acceptance in recovery
  • Mindfulness

Week 7

  • Understanding emotions
  • Complete relapse prevention
  • Focusing on experiences of joy
  • Spirituality
  • Physical health and mental health
  • Mindfulness

Week 8

  • Suicide and prevention
  • Coming out of isolation
  • Mental illness and disclosure
  • Take-home tool for making difficult choices
  • Surviving a hospital stay
  • Advance Directive for Mental Healthcare Decision Making
  • Mindfulness

Week 9

  • Guest speaker
  • Hot buttons and triggers
  • Working with providers
  • Advance Directive continued
  • Incarceration - survival and preparedness

Week 10

  • Another look at consumer stages of recovery:
  • Empowerment
  • Advocacy
  • Opportunities for involvement in NAMI
  • Mindfulness
  • Evaluations
  • Celebration